Schools face attendance restrictions

Schools face attendance restrictions

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) ordered 437 schools under its jurisdiction to limit attendance to 400 pupils a day and class sizes to a maximum of 20 pupils for the new semester that will start on July 1.

The BMA currently operates 437 schools and has brought in these changes to accommodate social distancing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, scoring to BMA spokesperson Pongsakorn Kwanmuang.

To this end, the BMA has classified its schools into three tiers -- small, medium and large.

Small schools with 400 students or less will open as usual but with class sizes limited to 20 pupils per lesson.

Medium-sized schools of 400-800 pupils will also be required to split their students into two groups which attend on alternate days in order to limit numbers on school premises.

For those pupils required to stay at home, schools will be expected to implement a programme of distance learning using online channels or via lessons broadcast by the state.

Larger schools will be subject to more severe attendance regulation as only kindergarten and elementary levels will be allowed to attend.

It has yet to be decided what measures will be taken to educate older age groups, said Mr Pongsakorn.

For distance learning, the BMA spokesman said that parents may be invited to contribute to appraisals with feedback on their children's levels of application from home.

Schools will also be subject to a raft of hygiene and sanitation regulations including mandatory face mask-wearing by bus drivers as well as frequent cleaning of touchpoints every few hours. Air conditioning will also be switched off in every school, he said.

In a related development, the BMA said that a care home for the elderly in Bang Khae district in Thon Buri area will remain under tight lockdown measures. There are currently 132 senior citizens living at the home and the BMA on Monday announced that relatives will remain banned from visiting while all activities such as meal donation events from charity groups will also be off the table for the foreseeable future in order to mitigate against the risk of Covid-19 infection among this highly vulnerable group.

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